Taso Lagos

Interim Director, EMIS, Lecturer, Hellenic Studies
Taso Lagos headshot


I am an international communication and political media scholar, Lecturer at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies and Founding Director of the Greece Study Abroad Program. My research focuses on media history involving immigrants and members of the Greek diaspora, as well as on questions of digital democracy and nation-branding as an emerging form of nationalism. My work has a strong historical dimension, as it seeks to uncover past movements, alongside social exclusionary and integratory sentiments within Second Wave immigration involving Greek expatriates. It also explores current trends in the nationalist refractors of nation-branding as a purposeful means of patriotic and populist exploitation. My research on issues of digital democracy involves the creation of “parallel poleis” that expose alternative social and political institutions within the digitized landscape.

My monograph, American Zeus: The Life of Alexander Pantages, Theater Mogul (McFarland Press, 2018) explicates the pioneering work and extraordinary life of the Greek-born Alexander Pantages, who immigrated to America at a young age in the 1880s to become a powerful movie-theater mogul who shaped the growth of movie exhibition in North America. The book argues that the era of extraordinary migration into the U.S. between 1880-1924 was also a very fertile and expansive business period, one in which immigrants played an outsized role by, for example, single-handedly creating the Hollywood movie industry. Relying on extensive archival material and newspaper accounts, the book demonstrates that the press coverage of this contribution was not stable or consistent, refracted as it was through public opinion on immigration. Pantages was a victim of this fluctuating media discourse that eventually destroyed his empire and left him a tragic figure by the end of his life in 1936. My articles have appeared in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies; New Media & Society; The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; Journal of Communication, and Political Communication, among others.

Recent Interviews and Media Representations

Interview, UW Today, May 14, 2018

Interview, Real Change, November 22, 2017

Interview, Whole-U, August 5, 2016

Interview KUOW-FM, April 21, 2016


  • University of Washington, Seattle, Ph.D., Political Communication, 2004
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Masters, Communication, 1999
  • University of Washington, Seattle, B.A., History, Russia Emphasis, 1980

Selected Publications

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